This is such an important topic, and I know a lot of parents stress about this. Hopefully this information will help ease your mind going forward when dressing your baby for sleep! The ideal room temperature for your baby of any age is between 68 & 72 degrees. We know that some rooms in the house run a bit cooler in winter months, due to big windows, heat source and location in the home. You could also be traveling to warmer/cooler climates and not everywhere is set up to have ideal temperatures for babies, so it's good to be prepared. Most baby monitors have the room temperature displayed, but if yours doesn’t, it’s always good to check the temperature of your baby/child’s room to ensure it’s getting enough heat at night in the cold months!
Thermal Overall Grade rating is listed on most sleep wear for babies. This rating is to help demystify how to dress your baby for sleep. The higher the TOG Rating, the warmer the fabric. Most sleep sacks and swaddles will show the rating, and give instruction on how to dress your baby for sleep using the product.
For the first few days of a Newborns life they need assistance regulating their body temperature - so we want to make sure they are safe, cozy, not too warm & not too cool. Adding an extra layer is ok to do for the first week, and the safest way to do this is to add a short sleeve undershirt under a long sleeve pj, and then swaddle. Halo makes a fleece swaddle that I find great for newborns. They also make it in a preemie size as well. After the first week of life, a full-term baby has the ability to regulate their own body temperature. I would recommend just a cotton/bamboo pj under the halo swaddle - If you are comfortable with the temperature of your home, chances are your baby is too. If you are concerned they are too hot or too cold, it is best not to go by hand or foot temperature, but rather feel the back of their neck and body. If they are sweaty and hot, remove a layer, or go to a cotton swaddle instead of fleece. If they feel warm and cozy - you are dressing them perfectly! (Never add hats, loose blankets or unsafe items to your newborns sleep space, always use regulated Velcro swaddles for unsupervised sleep)
Links To My Most Recommended Swaddles:
HALO SWADDLE (fleece or cotton):
Three/Four Months and Older
As stated above the perfect room temperature for babies/toddlers is 68-72 degrees. If your house maintains this temperature year round - you really don’t have to switch up their sleep attire! A cotton/bamboo long sleeve pj with a 1.0 TOG sleep sack over top is perfect. Like I said above, never go by the hands or feet for temperature. It is normal for babies hands to feel a bit cool! Always check the back of the neck and body for an accurate judgement of body temperature. If your home or baby’s room runs cooler in winter months you can switch to a flannel/fleece pj, keeping the 1.0TOG sleep sack, or stick with the cotton/bamboo pj and go up to a 2.5TOG sleep sack. ( for babies under 12 months never add loose blankets or any other unsafe items to their sleeping space. They should only have a fitted sheet and a regulated wearable blanket/sleep sack for warmth)
Links To My Most Recommended Sleep Sacks:
KYTE BABY SLEEP SACK 1.0 TOG:
KYTE BABY SLEEP SACK 2.5 TOG:
If your baby doesn't sleep with a swaddle or sleep sack
Just use your best judgement based on the guidelines above, add a short sleeve undershirt to cotton/bamboo pjs for a room temperature of 68-72°F. If their body feels cool switch to flannel/fleece pjs, with or without an undershirt depending on baby's temperature. ( for babies under 12 months never add hats, loose blankets or any other unsafe items to their sleeping space. They should only have a fitted sheet and regulated sleep attire in their crib)
TIP: Try not to stress and obsess over what your baby wears to bed at night. If you are comfortable while sleeping, dress your baby similar to what you wear to bed and they will be just fine! (following safe guidelines and using safe baby wear of course!). Your baby will let you know if they are uncomfortable, and the best way to test if its temperature related is to feel for yourself.
If your baby is dressed appropriately, room temperature is good but you find they still sweat in the night and aren’t sleeping soundly this could be something you want to bring up to your doctor at their next visit. Some sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can cause nighttime sweating, snoring and other sleep disruptions.
A free downloadable PDF guide is available here:
This information is not medical advice and to be used for informational purposes only
Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant